The modern world requires modern hobbies, and the brother of the Qatari Emir, Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Thani, has certainly embraced all that motorcars have to offer.
Of all the world’s royals, few have taken to modern life with the same tenacity as Qatar’s ruling family, the Al Thani’s. Holding the throne of the Qatari peninsula since it was unified almost two centuries ago and able to trace their heritage back to the Banu Tamim, one of the largest and most influential Arabian tribes of antiquity, the Al-Thani’s have a rich history steeped in tradition. However, this has certainly not stopped royals like Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Thani from embracing modernity with open arms.
Sheikh Khaled was born on the 4th of September 1986, is the brother of the ruling Emir, and received a bachelor’s degree in International Relations, Law, and Politics from a London university. But what really sets him apart from his royal counterparts around the world is his passion for the world of car racing and the colourful hobbies that come with it. At a young age, he made history as the first Qatari to drive a Formula 1 car, which reaches over 215 miles per hour. However, these measly speeds were not enough to satisfy Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Thani’s burning passion for motorsports, and he soon became heavily involved with Top Fuel racing.
He spent a large sum establishing himself and his kingdom within the sport as the owner of the Al-Anabi racing team, in part to actively pursue his love of motorcars, but also to broaden his nation’s profile in the sporting world. The beastly machines of Top Fuel car racing are the fastest accelerating cars on earth, reaching 100 miles per hour in about 0.6 seconds and going on to top 300 miles per hour in the time that it takes it to cover about 700 feet. Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Thani’s endeavour went on to be a roaring success, as is the case with so many of the enterprises undertaken by the world’s royals, and he soon returned to Qatar to devote himself to the presidency of the Qatar Racing Club. This is, quite naturally, one of the leading motorsport facilities in the world, and home to the Arabian Drag Racing Competition, which the Sheikh also sponsors.
Settling into a more relaxed life in Qatar with his family, he continues to pursue a number of exotic hobbies like swimming and scuba diving in the waters around his beach-front home. Sheikh Khaled bin Hamad Al Thani’s passions may be a long way from the traditional hobbies typically enjoyed by members of other royal families, such as equestrianism, but he clearly embodies the love of life common to all nobility. He also shows the adaptability of royalty to the modern age, and gives a taste of the successful ventures that await the royals of the future.